Nine photos show the real Oxford in the 1970s

·2-min read
Children had a lucky escape when this tree fell in Blackbird Leys in 1975
Children had a lucky escape when this tree fell in Blackbird Leys in 1975

Here we look back at photos of Oxford in the 1970s we have found in our archive.

They recall the glamour of the TV series Brideshead Revisited being filmed in the Botanic Garden.

Jeremy Irons was joined by Anthony Andrews and other members of the cast for the popular TV series based on Evelyn Waugh's acclaimed novel.

Oxford Mail:
Oxford Mail:

Shoppers were also pictured rushing along Queen Street to snap up the latest bargains before a VAT increase was introduced.

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Midsummer madness hit Oxford city centre in June 1979 as hordes of shoppers set out to beat the Chancellor's big VAT increases.

Fears about petrol supplies persuaded people to leave their cars at home as they set off on the spending spree.

Traders reported a huge increase in business in the final day's grace before the budget changed.

A spokesman for Curry's said trade was at least double the usual level over their whole range of goods.

Oxford Mail:
Oxford Mail:

A member of staff said: "A lot of the spending in the last few days has been impulse buying.

Read more: Nine photos of Oxfordshire in 1981

"I wondered, in view of the petrol difficulties, whether people might not be cancelling holidays and using the cash for a new fridge or washing machine."

And children collecting conkers had a lucky escape when a tree fell in 1975.

Paul Smith, 11, of James Street, said the 35-foot horse chestnut missed him by about a foot as it fell in Windale Avenue.

The tree was one of 37 brought down in Oxfordshire by gales that disrupted traffic and electricity supplies.

Paul said: "I was just getting some conkers down and I heard a big crack. I just ran.

"It missed me by about that much," he said, holding his hands about a foot apart.

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Bryan Douglas, 13, of 32 Moorbank, Blackbird Leys, said: "We heard this cracking noise.

"A lot of kids were standing under it but they all ran. About five seconds later it fell."

The tree hit the back of a car and blocked the avenue, which was a cul-de-sac.

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